Back in the 2008 presidential election, with the U.S. economy tanking, John McCain infamously said “The fundamentals of our economy are strong,” while stumping in Jacksonville, Florida.
While you could make the argument that McCain was right—the underlying free-market fundamentals of supply and demand with limited government oversight have always been strong—our economy was in big trouble. A financial crisis triggered by the collapse of the housing market, brought on by the federal government forcing lower underwriting standards through lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, had sent the economy into a tail-spin. We’ve been spinning every since.
With an unemployment rate around 6 percent and President Bush’s attempt to prop up the economy with bailouts and stimulus money having proved to be a complete failure, people were really hurting in 2008. Against this backdrop, the Obama campaign seized upon McCain’s words as fodder for a television ad depicting just how out of touch he was:
Effective enough, I think. Let’s fast forward to today, however, and we have an unemployment rate that has hovered above eight percent for over 40 weeks with Obama injecting $787 billion in stimulus money to prop up the economy having proved a complete failure and promises a hundreds of billion of more money on the way. People are still hurting and the nation has racked up another $5 trillion in debt under Obama in one term—it took Bush two terms to dog a hole as deep.
Against this backdrop, the Romney campaign recently put out this little deja vu ad, with the shoe on the other foot:
You got to love it. McCain, of course, ran an awful campaign and the Romney people have pretty much been getting it right since he captured enough delegates in the primary fight to become the Republican’s standard-barer. Granted, the Romney campaign has somewhat of an easier job with Obama’s dismal record as president. The fact that the president’s administration is starting to implode in scandal—from Fast and Furious to White House national security leaks—is helping out, too.
Even with advantages that McCain—a lousy candidate anyway you look at it—never had, Republicans are famous for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. So far, the Romney camp seem to be striking the right chords and that’s encouraging.
For good measure, after Obama dissed Congress by changing U.S. immigration policy through executive fiat Romney released another version of the ad in Spanish:
Romney is sticking to the economy as the overriding issue in this election. If he continues to do this, instead of taking Obama’s bait to turn the conversation from everything from immigration to same-sex marriages to contraception to whatever else they are going to pull out of their a**—um, hats, he should be just fine.
The economy trumps immigration even among Latinos, with polls showing 50 percent think jobs are the most important issue in this election, as opposed to 12 percent believing immigration policy to be so.
Romney is apparently sticking to his economic message in his speech today at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Expect more divisive, “us against them” rhetoric from Obama when he addresses the same group tomorrow, peppered with a lot of pandering about immigration. Trying to divide Americans by race, economic status, sex, sexual-orientation and what-have-you is all he’s got.
Americans are just as tired of divisiveness as they are of an economic malady that’s only gotten worse under Obama. That’s why the president is in a lot of trouble.